M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Sunday, December 07, 2003  

It’s All Material

Home ahead of schedule, in more ways than one. Backstage at the show last night, my boss said, “There are no bad experiences for a writer. It’s all material.” Which is true, and I knew that already, even the night before when I was having material out the ass.

It’s not every web writer who can complain about a weekend in which he stayed at someone else’s expense in a beautiful hotel room forty-eight floors above Times Square with windows to the west and the north. But then, if you read every web writer, you’d never get anything done.

The plan was to work on the show in New York this weekend and spend a couple more days in town, a sort of semi-working vacation. Trash would come out and join me and see the show, and we’d have the rest of the weekend and Monday to enjoy the city, take care of some Christmas shopping, see our friends and my sister, ice-skate at Rockefeller Center, and head back home with our hearts so full of Gotham-inspired Christmas cheer that we would have no choice but to vomit.

It was a great plan going into it. On Friday morning, the snow had already begun to fall, but visibility was still two miles on our final descent into LaGuardia. By the time our cab to the hotel was cutting through Central Park, the place looked like a greeting card. Trash was still at work at that point, but she’d be catching her plane at the end of the business day. The company members went to the venue and set up the office stuff in preparation for the boss’s and the actors’ arrival on a plane that was due just a couple of hours after ours. We’d have our standard Friday evening rehearsal and I’d be at liberty to hook up with my wife afterward.

In the early afternoon, snow hadn’t even accumulated in Times Square. The constant weight of footprints and tires on every square inch of pavement there kept it ground into a thin layer of slippery gray paste. People were just starting to scoop snowballs off of truck fenders and closed hot dog carts. It was still early.

A slight wrinkle arose when our technical director called the airline to see if our boss’s plane was on time and was informed that the flight’s cancellation would make a timely arrival unlikely.

The boss ended up landing in Hartford, whereupon he and the actors rented a car and attempted to drive to New York. When traffic proved that unworkable, they ditched the rental car in a river and hopped a train. Rehearsal was scrubbed, and the scripts that I was supposed to spend Friday afternoon printing and copying didn’t arrive in my inbox until after 10:00 p.m. And since I couldn’t get an Internet connection going from my hotel and I couldn’t work in the venue office after hours, it was off to Kinko’s at midnight in the snowstorm. At least they gave me a plastic bag for the copies. That was one of the nicest things that happened all evening.

How did Trash react to having my job cut into what was supposed to be a free night on the town? She took it remarkably well. Partially because she was still home in Minneapolis.

Her New York flight had also been cancelled, and she had also booked a Hartford flight. But then Hartford closed, which almost caused her to cancel her trip until they offered her a flight into Newark the next morning. We were much happier about that until that flight was cancelled as well. When they suggested she get to New York by taking ground transportation from her new destination of Washington, D.C., that was when she gave up. Just as well, otherwise she’d probably still be trying to figure out which train to take to New York from Miami.

We were so excited about our first trip to New York in the winter, and then it turned out that New York in the winter van be kind of a bitch. And let me tell you, there’s nothing sadder than a married man traveling alone with a suitcase full of sex toys.

Trash’s disappointment was mitigated, however, by the evil mood that Friday evening’s events had put me in. At one point, I was walking through Times Square while talking to her on my cell phone, bitching about the futility of my existence. And suddenly she heard my already impressive stream of carping being interrupted by a curse of thermonuclear intensity. The tires of a passing car had just lobbed a dozen fist-sized slush bombs directly into my dress shoes, the only ones I had with me. Not that my socks weren’t already soaked by then, but at least the water in them had been warmed to a few degrees above frigid by my feet. Now I’d been robbed of even that small comfort, and Trash told me that I sounded angrier than I had in years.

Mostly because of the cliché factor, I think.

Despite the truncated production schedule, we got the show put on, as you may have heard. I offered Trash’s ticket to my sister in New Jersey, but it was still snowing down like a mofo at that point and DeBitch the Younger didn’t think much of her chances of making it into the city. Lawre and Josh came and saw the show as originally planned, and said they dug it, and afterward we went out for dinner and a large amount of Brooklyn Lagers. Which put me in fine form to spend most of this afternoon at the airport trying to wheedle my way onto a flight I wasn’t scheduled for at the end of a weekend when the airport had closed and was now full of people who had been trying to get home for two days. I got on standby, got on a plane, and got home, so clearly my luck turned.

And now that I’m home I can bitch to you. Merry freaking Christmas.

Today’s best search phrase: “I hate Velcrometer.” Only 546 hits on this phrase. Beats a shoeful of slush.

posted by M. Giant 9:30 PM 0 comments


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